Activism, Fiction, Politics

The Forgotten Story of How “Punching Up” Harmed the Science-Fiction/Fantasy World

The recent blowup over New York Times editorial board hire Sarah Jeong and her racially charged Twitter trail turned into a brawl over a key question in today’s cultural polemics: Whether derogatory speech about whites should be considered racist and, more generally, whether there is such a thing as anti-white racism. Most of Jeong’s defenders on the left not only argued that she shouldn’t lose her job but insisted that there was nothing particularly wrong with her white-bashing tweets, whether they were meant to mock racist trolls or criticize “white privilege.” “To equate ‘being mean to white people’ with the actual systemic oppression and marginalization of minority groups is a false equivalency,” wrote Vox reporter Aja Romano in a supposedly objective “explainer.”

As the Jeong drama demonstrates, the view that “woke” white-bashing is a harmless, justified, and perhaps even commendable form of “punching up” is now mainstream in liberal/progressive culture in North America (and some other Western countries). And yet another culture-war episode from four years ago—one that, as it happens, Romano also covered in detail—shows that this mindset can cause very real damage.

The defense of “punching up” is a fundamental part of the left-identitarian ideology (also known as “social justice” or “intersectionality”) that has become the quasi-official progressive creed in the 2010s.  In this creed, all human interaction is seen primarily through the lens of “power dynamics” and the “oppression/privilege” hierarchy; thus, hostile or demeaning speech is judged by whether the speaker and the target are “privileged” or “marginalized.”

There are many reasons, both moral and practical, to criticize this ideology. It inevitably undermines modern Western society’s hard-won taboo on racial insults and is likely to provoke a backlash. It relies on crude and often skewed definitions of power, privilege and oppression—so that, for instance, Jeong, a Harvard Law School graduate and successful journalist from a minority group with higher income and lower incarceration rates than white Americans, can outscore an unemployed white high school dropout in “oppression points.” (Or so that Jeong supporter Rani Molla, another journalist with an elite degree and from a thriving demographic, can deride “whiny” rural white workers at a chicken processing plant.)

However, the normalization of “punching up” can also do more immediate and tangible harm. In many cases, it can enable and excuse abusive behavior supposedly motivated by righteous anger or “anti-oppression” activism.

Jeong herself has been spotted minimizing the infamous Twitter-shaming of Justine Sacco in 2013. Sacco, a public relations executive, lost her job and had to go into hiding after becoming the target of a social media mob over a joke that was intended to mock “white privilege” but was perceived as racist.

But another incident the following year—which received fairly little notice outside the science fiction/fantasy community, but was the subject of a long article by Romano in the digital culture magazine The Daily Dot—offers a far more dramatic example of wreckage left by a serial harasser cloaked in the mantle of “anti-racism” and “social justice.”

In September 2014, the sci-fi/fantasy world was rocked by revelations about the bizarre online past of a much-praised young author in the field, the Thai-born, Hong Kong-based Benjanun Sriduangkaew, one of that year’s finalists for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Sriduangkaew was outed as a notorious social justice “rage-blogger” known by the fitting moniker “Requires Hate” (a shortened version of the title of her blog, “Requires Only That You Hate”), whose vitriol-soaked takedowns and callouts of “problematic” works and authors had sown fear in the SFF community since 2011. What’s more, Requires Hate also doubled as a prolific troll and cyberbully who mainly went by “Winterfox” but sometimes used other handles.

After several weeks of heated debates, a lengthy, detailed, carefully researched report on Sriduangkaew’s activities under her various aliases was posted by sci-fi writer Laura Mixon on her LiveJournal blog.

It makes for a hair-raising read. Requires Hate’s rants made Jeong’s tweets sound like drawing-room pleasantries. She frequently resorted to graphic threats of murder, rape, mutilation, acid attacks, and other extreme violence. Of American sci-fi novelist Paolo Bacigalupi, whom she blasted as a “raging racist fuck” and an “appropriative bag of feces,” she wrote, “If I see [him] being beaten in the street I’ll stop to cheer on the attackers and pour some gasoline on him,” and “Let him be hurt, let him bleed, pound him into the fucking ground. No mercy.” Irish-American author Caitlyn Kiernan was branded a “rape apologist” whose “hands should be cut off so she can never write another Asian character.”

According to Mixon, Sriduangkaew, often aided by her followers, had at various times tried to “suppress the publication of fiction and reviews” and get speakers disinvited from panels and readings; cyber-stalked sci-fi fans who had crossed her; “chased down positive reviews” in order to “frighten reviewers and fans away” from promoting works she disliked; and “single-handedly destroyed several online SFF, fanfic, and videogaming communities with her negative, hostile comments and attacks.” (All italics in the original.) Moreover, “At least one of her targets was goaded into a suicide attempt.”

Mixon’s post prompted many of Requires Hate’s victims—including some who were not named in the report, such as Canadian author J.M. Frey—to speak up in the comments. Their accounts were shocking, not only for what they revealed about Sriduangkaew’s behavior but for her targets’ reactions. Frey, whose award-nominated, well-reviewed 2011 debut novel Triptych was repeatedly trashed on the Requires Hate blog, wrote:

I nearly stopped writing when this happened. I shook every time I sat down to a keyboard. It took me 75 drafts to turn in a novel (with a [person of color] lead!) to my agent. I cried a lot. … When I saw her site’s links incoming in my website meta data I felt sick. I had to learn how to block them.

Mostly I’ve gotten over it, but every single time I sit down to write a new project, I have to give myself a pep talk about how I have to write what I want… I second guess everything I write now. I waffle, and bemoan, and I try to be good at representation and gender and sexuality in my books, but nobody is perfect and I feared, I genuinely feared putting more books out into the world because I was scared.

Frey also wrote that Requires Hate’s tirades made her scared of more than social disapproval. She began to avoid conventions, fearing that she would run into her tormentor and that the latter “would escalate from words to something horrible, something physical,” such as “come across a dance floor and hit me in the head with a beer bottle.”

Several other commenters also wrote that being targeted by Requires Hate and her minions affected them profoundly. Charles Terhune, an American sci-fi author, said that as a new writer just getting his start in the field, the experience left him “scarred and skittish for a long time”—and wary of “writing anything other than white male characters.” Colum Paget, a British writer who found himself on the receiving end of her invective, admitted that he “pretty much stopped writing because of it.”

One commenter also provided striking details of how “Winterfox” was able to wreak havoc in a LiveJournal community (ironically, one dedicated to books by “people of color”) and ultimately cause it to implode:

Every time she viciously insulted an author or a fellow community member, she framed it as bravely speaking out against racism and other injustices. No matter what anyone said, Winterfox found a way to twist it into them being a racist pig and herself being the only one standing up for what’s right. If she could not immediately find anything in a person’s comments to twist and misconstrue, she would simply accuse them of being white. If they responded that they were not white, she would accuse them of being mixed race or no longer living in the country of their ancestors. Only she was an authentic person of color, and only she could judge what was racist and what was not….

The mods … were worried that by telling Winterfox she couldn’t do this stuff anymore, they would be silencing a person of color who had a right to be angry about injustice. They eventually put up an “Insults Policy” post explaining that you couldn’t insult community members for no reason, but that it was okay to “snarkily” call them out for being racist, sexist, etc.

Mixon herself was upfront about the fact that Sriduangkaew’s reign of terror was made possible by the political culture in the SFF community: since Requires Hate self-identified as an Asian lesbian, she had the backing of “progressives … who appreciate[d] that—despite her sometimes over-the-top rhetoric—she unapologetically sp[oke] up for people of color and queer/ LGBTQI people, calling out racist, homophobic, misogynist content in many popular SFF novels and stories.”  Interestingly, Mixon also pointed to evidence that Sriduangkaew’s abusive online behavior had begun with nasty but nonpolitical forum trolling—until “at some point she discovered social-justice-driven rage-speak and found it to be a particularly effective weapon.”

Yet Mixon, herself a prominent member of the community’s progressive elite (her husband, sci-fi writer Stephen Gould, was then president of the Science Fiction Writers’ Association), took pains not to deviate too far from the party line. While she condemned Requires Hate’s “social justice hackery,” she emphasized that “discussions about colonialism, racism, sexism, and homophobia in our works” are difficult but “necessary” and that writers should welcome being sensitized to their “privilege.”

Mixon also went out of her way to stress that Requires Hate’s claims of “punching up” were belied by her tendency to go after “women, people of color, and other marginalized or vulnerable people” (emphasis in the original). The post even featured pie charts showing that of the definitively identified victims of her cyberbullying, nearly three quarters were women, about 40 percent were “POCs,” and a substantial proportion were “Queer/LGBTQI.” When one commenter expressed annoyance at the suggestion that white, straight, cisgender males were “Acceptable Targets,” Mixon replied, “I do think a case can be made for marginalized people’s right to punch up.”

Meanwhile, Sriduangkaew—who had at first indignantly denied the rumors identifying her as Requires Hate/Winterfox, until they were confirmed by a prominent editor—posted an apology in which she admitted to being a “horrendous asshole” and doing terrible things while believing that she was “punching up and doing good.” Her post promised “no excuses.” Then, she followed up with another blogpost that amounted to a litany of excuses—from claims that she herself was a target of stalkers to finger-pointing at white men who had supposedly gotten away with worse behavior. (Less than a year later, in a post on a protected Twitter account, she was comparing herself to a reputed victim of misogynist hate mobs and her opponents to various far-right bogeymen.)

As for Romano’s Daily Dot article on the controversy, it was notable mainly for its almost comically doctrinaire identity-politics framing of the story:

The question of whether to accept or repudiate Sriduangkaew after the discovery is complicated. On the one hand, Sriduangkaew, who has claimed to be a Thai-born Thai writer who is ethnically Chinese, is a much-needed example of an excellent, well-liked writer whose multicultural voice is an important addition to the sparse population of non-white writers in the world of speculative publishing. On the other hand, her troll voice has often worked to loudly silence other members of marginalized identities. … Is the outing and subsequent repudiation of Sriduangkaew all just an act of tone policing—an effort to silence a voice raised in anger?

Romano did briefly wonder if the tendency to circle the wagons around minority writers in the field could go too far (as with Samuel “Chip” Delany, a biracial gay author who openly supports a group championing sex between adult men and underage boys). But she also respectfully quoted the opinions of those who saw the rush to condemn Sriduangkaew’s past trolling as “an example of white privilege attempting to silence writers of color.” In the end, Romano concluded that “the condemnation is natural; but whether its work is to ultimately silence or empower the voices of women and minorities in speculative fiction remains to be seen.”

Despite such misgivings, the anti-Sriduangkaew side mostly prevailed. Mixon’s exposé was praised by notables such as George R. R. Martin; in August 2015, it even won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer, given to sci-fi-related nonfiction work for nonpaying or low-paying magazines or websites. The award could be seen as a repudiation of “social justice” extremism, in a year when the Hugos and the sci-fi/fantasy community faced a challenge from the right (the so-called “Sad Puppies” slate created by mostly conservative authors who believed that the awards had become too politicized by the left). But it is worth noting that the “Requires Hate” debacle had specific elements that made it easier for progressives to rally against Sriduangkaew. She had targeted not only people with bona fide “oppressed identities”—including  sexual assault survivors—but prominent, highly regarded minority authors, such as N.K. Jemisin and Saladin Ahmed.

Even so, there were those who found the award for Mixon’s piece troubling. “It just feels like a white woman elder putting the younger woman of color in her ‘place,’” fretted one writer.

It also noteworthy that mainstream media outlets completely ignored the Benjanun Sriduangkaew/Requires Hate scandal (at the same time that they gave extensive coverage to claims of misogynist harassment by GamerGate, the anti-“political correctness” revolt in the videogame community). The lack of interest in a cyberbullying story that had a major impact in the sci-fi/fantasy world was especially remarkable given this story’s genuinely fascinating twists—including the continuing mystery of the woman behind the multiple masks. (It is open knowledge that “Benjanun Sriduangkaew” is a pseudonym; an unconfirmed, albeit persuasive, blog report identifies her as a California-born member of an extremely wealthy Thai family, now in her late twenties.)

Perhaps not surprisingly, Sriduangkaew was never really ostracized by the sci-fi/fantasy establishment. A month after the Mixon report was recognized by the Hugos, one of Sriduangkaew’s stories ran in Clarkesworld, a leading online sci-fi/fantasy magazine; last year, her novella Winterglass was published as a book by Apex, a major publisher in the field. (None of the generally mediocre reviews mentioned the author’s notorious past; her cutesy official bio says that she “writes love letters to strange cities and the future.”) Sriduangkaew has even started making a comeback as a “social justice warrior”: Last February, Apex included her in an “intersectional roundtable” of authors, though the feature was eventually taken down after strong objections—and reports of more recent abusive behavior.

The Benjanun Sriduangkaew/Requires Hate saga is a striking cautionary tale in a number of ways. It shows how easily performative bashing of “the oppressors” or “the privileged” can turn into vicious bullying and harassment toward real people—and how easily a “marginalized” person can be reclassified as a “privileged” acceptable target.  It shows what a devastating weapon anti-oppression outrage and social justice rhetoric can be in the hands of a malicious abuser, making it very difficult to curb the abuser’s behavior and making the victims particularly susceptible: witness the mind-boggling fact that an anonymous blogger’s unhinged ranting could make published authors afraid to write. The Mixon report, Romano’s Daily Dot article, and the comments on both pieces offer a rather scary glimpse into a toxic, cult-like “social justice” subculture.

Drama in the sci-fi/fantasy fandom may not be of great consequence for larger society (though the politicization of culture is a real and spreading problem). But when the ideology that enabled Requires Hate dominates academia, gains a strong presence in the mainstream media, and makes inroads into corporate culture, the cautionary tale should be a warning to us all.

 

Correction: The original version of this article misstated the title of Sriguandkaew’s blog as “This Requires Only That You Hate,” based on an error in the 2014 Daily Dot report. Also, Colum Paget was wrongly identified as Irish; he is British, of partly Irish heritage. Quillette regrets the error. 

Cathy Young is a Russian-born American journalist and author. She is a columnist for Newsday and a contributing editor for Reason magazine and ArcDigital. Her work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Weekly Standard, Foreign Policy, and Slate. You can follow her on Twitter 

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Filed under: Activism, Fiction, Politics

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Cathy Young is a Russian-born American journalist and author. She is a columnist for Newsday and a contributing editor for Reason magazine. Her work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Weekly Standard, Foreign Policy, and Slate.

126 Comments

  1. TarsTarkas says

    She is an evil bully who hid for years behind her anonymity and when outed paid no price for her actions. She’ll learn from that experience. So will others. If the SF community continues to refuse to police themselves, learns that they must curb their barbarians and psychopaths for their own sake, they had better start looking for other jobs because they’ll need them.

    • She behaves in a way very typical for spoiled women from far eastern countries. Her hyperbole is hysterical. You can almost see her shrieking in a high-pitched, foreign, rapid-paced screech. Jeong is along the same lines. They betray their fundamental lack of American identity by resorting to their native hysteria. Pretty good how they can achieve that tell-tale screech in English.

  2. Bubblecar says

    The pronouncement that “racially insulting whites doesn’t constitute racism” is clearly hypocritical because if it doesn’t constitute racism, there would be no point doing it. The intention is to be racially offensive, which would be wasted effort if no-one was actually offended.

    I personally am not offended, because I have no reason to take my supposed “racial identity” seriously and I feel sorry for “racial minorities” who feel pressured (by racists of both left and right) into defining themselves in such a primitive and demeaning way.

    Nonetheless, when such attempts to offend are enabled and reinforced by a simple-minded ideology that qualifies them as “punching up”, serious bullying can become entrenched, as this report demonstrates.

    Identity politics, when taken to such self-defeating extremes, becomes nothing more than ideologically licensed trolling, irrelevant to serious political debate and a tragic confirmation that much of today’s bourgeois left is as mired in foolish anti-intellectualism as the reactionary right – and becoming just as anti-social.

    • Saturn Black says

      I don’t feel sorry for anyone. If you play the identity politics game you get all the suffering you deserve. Everyone could find an excuse to see themselves as a victim of something if they’re stupid enough to go down that road.

      We need to stop giving these people special treatment just because they fled a war zone and watched their whole family get raped and murdered or whatever. They will never take responsibility for themselves and will milk their victim status for all its worth and leech off our generous welfare states. They have repeatedly shown this. The left is destroying every western nation because nobody has the courage to stand up and say that all this compassion and sympathy nonsense has gone too far.

      • Bubblecar says

        Haha, you are “playing the identity politics game” like a blood & soil veteran, which you clearly are. Sorry champ, nobody’s fooled – the far right is a sworn enemy of Western civilization and remains the most toxic threat.

        • Saturn Black says

          Bubblecar – What a nasty piece of work you are. Take your radical left hyperbole back to Antifa where you belong, scum. The far right barely even exists – it’s mostly an exaggerated invention of your socialist buddies to distract people from their rise to power. Everybody is fooled because they think you people aren’t real killers, but I know how much you’d love to torch the west and piss all over its grave and enslave everyone.

          See you on the battlefield. I’ll be waiting.

          • Max Hillaert says

            I think this little conversation epitomises Western political debate today.

          • Colum Paget says

            LOL. *he’s* the nasty piece of work, for calling you on your tactics? The far right doesn’t exist, but you’ll see people ‘on the battlefield’?

            You are fake news. This is very amateur trolling. If you want to go down that path, you should really look into the lady who this article is about, she was a master of the art and you can learn things there.

          • Saturn Black says

            Colum Paget – For someone coming from a writers community you sure can’t read very well. Maybe they should add “lunatic leftism” to the next DSM and include partial dyslexia as one of the symptoms. It certainly looks like the disease has taken a firm hold over you.

            If you think I’m a troll I guess you’ve never encountered Milo. Go spend some time on YouTube and give yourself an education – you need it kiddo.

          • @ Saturn Black

            Gosh! You are at it again, aren’t you? You a like little devil aren’t you? I bet you have got no job – you are thick as two planks. Your type generally are. I doubt you have read a single book since you have left school.

            This is why when your BS is challenged you start playing the victim card like the loser you are.

    • Aw now that us white folks have finally experienced the same bullying and bashing that black folx have experienced for MILLENNIA it’s all of a sudden racist. Nope. For one, this IS the backlash that WHITE folks have created and for TWO racism is based on power structures, so if racism can be applied to both black and white people then there are none of the power structures that racism is hinged on thus there is no racism. You are the ones arguing against racism, then. Ktbn.

      • Bubblecar says

        “same bullying and bashing that black folx have experienced for MILLENNIA it’s all of a sudden racist”

        Whether or not it’s racist, “bully and bashing” are inexcusably bad behaviour.

        And whether it’s anti-black bullying or anti-white bullying, most of the people doing it are wealthy, powerful whites.

      • Saturn Black says

        Carla Clark – what a load of nonsense.

        If you’d ever lived with black Somalians and experienced first hand how filthy and disgusting their living habits are, I guarantee you wouldn’t be hating on people of your own skin colour. After repeatedly having to clean up their piss because they’ve never learnt how to use a toilet properly and refused to listen when I tried to tell them, I have no sympathy for these people. They come here and take advantage of our welfare and contribute NOTHING good to our nation. And you think this entitles them to some sort of backlash against us? Get lost. This kind of attitude just proves that we’ve been far too lenient and generous to these people who have no desire to show us any gratitude for being offered refuge from their ravaged homeland.

        On the other hand maybe you’re one of those people who loves refugees and thinks that living in squalor is something to be aspired to, in which case I’m probably wasting my time trying to reason with you.

        • @ Saturn Black

          “If you’d ever lived with black Somalians and experienced first hand how filthy and disgusting their living habits are, I guarantee you wouldn’t be hating on people of your own skin colour.”

          Gosh! How right I was about you…

      • Colum Paget says

        No, the claim that whites are excluded from racism is a form of argument called ‘moral exclusion’. In which one group of people, usually on the basis of racial, religious or other identity, are declared to be outside of the rules of interpersonal behavior. This has been the enabling argument of pogroms, witch-hunts and fascism since forever. The argument itself is evil, as even without its history of murder, it argues that one group of people is inherently ‘lesser’ or different from everyone else.

      • Carla Clark – Really, blacks have a special set of nonstop “bullying” for millennia? Is black on black problems in African nations today all the fault of whites in the past? Who sold slaves to be shipped over the seas or death marched elsewhere? Jews have a more modern history of being victimized in large numbers, yet they perform quite well in countries that have western values.

      • Carla Clark, why do you arrogantly and ignorantly assert that racism is based on power structures? It isn’t. PERIOD. That is not and never has been the definition of racism. You are parroting the Orwellian attempt by race-hustlers to re-define racism.
        Now why do you think race-hustlers seek to re-define racism so as to exclude racism by blacks and, unless against blacks, other minorities? POWER! When people say everything is about power, they are projecting. Everything they do is about power. Furthermore, even if racism was limited to those with power, POWER IS SITUATIONAL. When that black guy with a gun killed 2 white people because they were white, who had the power? When those 2 black cops killed the white autistic boy who had the power? When those 4 black people in Michigan kidnapped and tortured a mentally-challenged white guy who had the power? When a black or Asian person brought up in upper middle class or wealthy splendor, with a degree from an elite institution, bullies and mocks poor, uneducated whites who has the power? When Obama and Holder engaged in the gross abuse of power (oops, gave it away!) that was the ally Bank shakedown, who had the power?

        • Saturn Black says

          None Oyb – “When people say everything is about power, they are projecting. Everything they do is about power.”

          Excellent point and very true.

      • Daniel says

        Carla, I find myself persuaded by your caps lock, though I remain uncertain about what. Yours is a refreshing voice in this boring forum where people use logic, evidence, and careful listening. Sometimes it is helpful to cut through all the mumbo-jumbo and just let people know the way it is. I can speak for the entirety of Quillette’s readers when I thank you for changing our minds, and showing us a new form of discourse.

        • Peter from Oz says

          Daniel
          You extract the urine with style and poise.

      • Ludic says

        For “MILLENNIA,” Carla?

        It’s a fascinating trait of such “woke” left-leaning people who like to think themselves highly educated to have no real knowledge of history. Oh, but you know of arbitrary, politically motivated redefinitions of words like “racism,” so I’m sure you think you’re informed.

        You realize that white people oppressing “people of color” is not some timeless struggle going back thousands of years, right? Human beings in general have been awful to people who didn’t look like them throughout history. It wasn’t particularly long ago that certain WHITE demographics were openly discriminated against in the United States.

        And slavery? You know that institution that is apparently all “white people’s” fault for all eternity despite not one living white person in any western nation having legally held slaves? Yeah, it’s derived from “Slav,” a European ethnic group. Not only were Europeans the first to abolish slavery, but it’s still practiced in many “diverse” countries (in large part remnants of failed “empires of color”) in the present day.

        Spare me the ignorant, self-loathing white guilt routine. The only difference between big, bad white people and any other “race” is that white “imperialism” was more recent and more successful. And it has resulted in some of the most equitable societies, with the highest standard of living in the history of the human race. Societies in which obnoxious “minorities” from affluent families are permitted to “punch up” with little to no consequence, in part because of cowards like you.

      • jolly swagman says

        One of the most incoherent, irrational and nonsensical statements I’ve read in a long time. Congratulations, single handed you have reduced the average IQ of posters on this site by several standard deviations.

        • jolly swagman says

          btw, my comment was a response to Carla Clark – not the poster whose comment appeared above

    • ‘The pronouncement that “racially insulting whites doesn’t constitute racism” is clearly hypocritical because if it doesn’t constitute racism, there would be no point doing it. …

      I personally am not offended, because I have no reason to take my supposed “racial identity” seriously’

      You may not be offended and I agree that for those whose identity is not governed by skin colour or family origin are unlikely to get personally offended by what are childish insults but we shoudl worry about a widespread culture which is overtly sexist against men and racist against white men. The effect of this is clear in educational provision and achievement, health outcomes and longevity, prison populations, family and domestic violence polcies etc.

      Teh real world effetcs are veyr large and many people of all races and both sexes are ultimately damaged by this biggotted philosphy.

    • Constantin says

      @Bubblecar – you make an extraordinarily important point that gets overlooked because the trolling that followed it. ( I have to give to some trolls that, instinctively or intuitively they feel when the hammer is applied with finesse. LOL). The point that in my view deserves repeating is this one: “Nonetheless, when such attempts to offend are enabled and reinforced by a simple-minded ideology that qualifies them as “punching up”, serious bullying can become entrenched, as this report demonstrates. ” That was the point of the entire article. Of course there will be collateral damage particularly when a bully asserts the right to re-define at will the victims it attacks, but the root of evil is the entry door to such unacceptable behavior defined as “punching up”.
      P.S. I think you are wrong believing “Saturn Black” to be an extreme right winger. My bet is that he is a leftist troll adopting that persona. His objective is to debase the comment section and delegitimize by association the most intriguing new think magazine. Do not fall in that trap.

    • NeonCrusader says

      Funny you should mention it. I have a couple of SSC tabs open along with this one at the moment. Not too surprising that the audiences of both sites should have some substantial overlap I suppose…

  3. Saturn Black says

    An accurate window into the future of western culture. This is what happens when you accept migrants and refugees from third world countries and teach them how to read and write. They’re still savages, but now they just use words to destroy each other instead of rape and murder and so on.

    I’ve seen much worse in another left-dominated subculture (e.g. drink spiking and subsequent gang rape) so this doesn’t surprise me. I guess the majority of people are quite sheltered from these little enclaves of depravity, particularly when the mainstream media is run by the left and in the business of covering up anything that makes the left look bad. If you don’t actively seek out right-wing media you wouldn’t even know Europe is currently being eaten away by a migrant crisis.

    Nothing surprises me any more. I’m just patiently waiting for war to break out and trying to prepare as best I can.

    • Matt S. says

      This looks an awful lot like trolling to me, and if it isn’t then I’m just plain glad I’m not you. That’s not a healthy outlook on life.

      • Saturn Black says

        Matt S. Cry me a river soy boy. It’s not my fault you can’t handle a controversial opinion.

    • Adam Becherer says

      Really?? This is your honest take after reading the article???

    • A Liberal says

      The goal of sites like Quillette should be to find a way to tell people like both Requires Hate and Saturn Black to go screw themselves in a language that’s consistent.

      • Saturn Black says

        A Liberal – That’s already the goal of sites like Twitter and Facebook. I’d like to think Quillette has something a bit more important to do than telling me to go screw myself. That’s what people like you are here for. Did you need a little encouragement?

      • You’re assuming Requires Hate and Saturn Black are different people…

      • Bronson says

        What’s with this desperate need to equivocate? Saturn Black isn’t sharing anything I haven’t regularly heard before from every co-worker and peer I know who has ever been to a third-world country. It’s a little over the top, but in a snarky and comical kind of way.

        Here you are equivocating it with someone who stalked people, harassed them, repeatedly attempted to instigate violence, issued death threats, and collapsed whole communities.

        False equivocations are false.

        • Saturn Black says

          Bronson – How dare you bring reason and a balanced perspective into this shrine to victimhood culture! Don’t you know that outspoken conservatives are all equally oppressive regardless of the particulars of their individual transgressions? What I’m saying is that it doesn’t matter what we do, we’re all just another Harvey Weinstein in their eyes.

          It’s important that conservatives do speak up and expose these sheltered little people to alternative perspectives – the ones that their mummies tried to keep them away from while they’re living under her roof (which they all still are). The entire education system all the way through to university has been coddling them and protecting them from the personal liberty, responsibility and self empowerment that is the hallmark of a true conservative. So when they finally reach their 30s and haven’t ever left home and finally come across us for the first time, I can understand why they can’t distinguish me from a disgusting immigrant sociopath whatever.

        • Kathy J Hix says

          “equivocation”?? That word doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    • Colum Paget says

      No they are not ‘savages’. Requires Hate was an individual acting alone, and not representitive of Thai people, asian people, or anyone else. She might be representitive of sociopaths, but that’s a medical condition.

      Interestingly you ignore the fact that she drew her support mostly from ‘woke’ whites in the SF community, and when I quit that community, it wasn’t because of one sociopathic Thai, but because *the community supported her*.

      You are no better than Carla Clark, judging an entire race of people by the actions of their worst members. Why, one would almost think you two were working in tandem to stir up the hate, or that you might even be the same perso…

      OMG! Benji!? Is that you?

      • Saturn Black says

        Colum Paget – You people act like these immigrants and refugees are entitled to come into our country and bring all the worst aspects of their homeland along with them. Immigrants should not be entitled to anything – they should have to prove that they are of good moral character and have something positive to offer our nation. If they’re criminals or spiteful scumbags or sociopaths like this one, they shouldn’t be allowed in and if they happen to slip through they should be deported.

        Show some gratitude and act like a decent person or get the hell out. It’s really that simple. Until this happens I will look down upon every immigrant because you are giving them all a bad name with your disgusting antics. Being allowed in to the best countries in the world is a privilege, not a right, so start acting like it.

    • Keep in mind that this is a critical article about a nasty, terrible troll who will say anything to “win”.

      She is very likely here commenting, trying to muddy the water. This comment feels more like a troll than anything else.

      • Saturn Black says

        LAW – You and Colum Paget would make a good couple with your wild conspiracy theories. Are you both from the same writers community? What a little den of leftist depravity it must be.

        • Is it really a “wild conspiracy theory” to suggest that a notorious internet comment troll would also comment on a story centered around her?

          The out-of-character thing would be if she *wasn’t* commenting here…

        • Saturn Black says

          Daniel – See my other comments on the recent articles around here – there are enough personal details there if you have enough investigative brainpower left in your addled skull to look at people before judging and dismissing them. In your case I’m not optimistic but occasionally it’s worth trying to show a retarded child how to hold his toy.

    • This is what happens when you accept migrants and refugees from third world countries and teach them how to read and write.
      =============================

      Pretty much what Americans in the early 20th century thought about Italians, Poles, and the Irish.

  4. The Scifi community also ostracized one of the best feminist scifi writers Elizabeth Moon for years because of her nonpolitically correct positions. The Scifi establishment let little jealous mobs use nonsensical bullshit to attack their more successful others. This is pathetic.

    Losers in artistic communities used to simply try too use “art” as a way to deride others, now its the social justice crap. Honestly, I blame the establishment and the publishing world for letting this happen instead of pulling the plug when it began.

    The way you get rid of bullies is to stand up to bullies. The writers who terrorized others need to be the ones ostracized from the community. It’s ridiculous that there appears to be no grownups in the room.

      • I am not sure. I just remember an article where she was told she was not welcome at SciFi conventions (her safety was even threatened) and actually stayed away for years, compromising her income. In fact, she just finally wrote a new book, but again its been years.

  5. Harrison Anderson says

    She must have been the most powerful person on the internet. If one person can do all that. Is it that kids walking home from school getting bottles and racist words thrown at them. Threats about being hang can endure and keep going keep walking. I really don’t understand in an era where you can ban. Even better they vould of written a horrible character like her and brought the character down.

    • Elaine says

      Everyone is terrified of the intersectionalist mobs. Cuts across academia, multinational corporations, publishing, schools etc. The cowardice of the majority is always the real story.

      • Saturn Black says

        Elaine – LOL. As if a few ugly overweight women on Twitter have all the power in the world. You’re deluded. I’m not scared of them.

        • Declan says

          Saturn Black – if you’re not scared of them Saturn, why not use your real name herre?

          • Saturn Black says

            Declan – You have a brain, why don’t you use it for once in your life instead of asking other people such stupid questions.

  6. It’s disheartening for writers of science fiction and fantasy. I run a blog for news, information and resources for storytellers and recently penned an article on Jon Del Arroz, a self-identified Hispanic conversative author, making an attempt to bring reason to atmosphere of people crying Nazi at anything this moves in an unexpected way within the SFF community and was put on a prolonged blast, despite me not defending Arroz’ behavior, but rather pointing out that the sort of rhetoric he was being assaulted with was more at home at recess than among adults in a supposedly professional community. Believe it or not, this is this first I’ve heard of Winterfox.

    But the story doesn’t surprise me. It does, however, make me think twice about speaking my mind if there’s even the slightest threat of being blacklisted because of the likes of people like Winterfox and others who had taken up that same sort of philosophy.

    Recently, author Blake Northcott shared her rejection story for her most recent novel. She was told by agents that they wouldn’t represent her because, among other reasons, “Men don’t read novels with female leads.” Blake, for what it’s worth, is the author behind the most successful crowdfund for a novel of all time, and they wouldn’t publish her.

    She then bemoaned she wouldn’t work with agents that doubled as activists. Blake seems like a forward-minded individual who understands the need for activism, but if someone of her talent and ability is receiving such treatment, it gives those of us who are passionate about storytelling pause. There is criticism, which helps an author grow, and there is criticism designed to silence and humiliate, and for whatever reason the people engaging in this sort of nonsense appear to be without shame, and others are beginning to emulate them.

  7. James Henzi says

    It does not matter what the source is or the motivation because hate is hate.

    • Saturn Black says

      So you think that hating a stranger based on the colour of their skin is the same as hating someone because they sexually abused you and betrayed your trust?

      Ridiculous.

      Everyone has hatred inside them. If you don’t learn how to accept it and use it constructively you’re just a shell of a person and will nobody will ever truly respect you. Go watch how Jordan Peterson interpreted the Christian phrase “the meek will inherit the Earth.” He investigated the original translations and it was more along the lines of “those who are capable of great destruction but don’t act on it will rule the Earth.”

      Of course the lunatic left acts like hate is unconditionally evil, meanwhile they manifest hatred in a terribly dangerous and destructive way because they can’t accept it within them and the only way they can live is by becoming blind to that side of themselves and thus they have no control over it. People who do this are far more dangerous than those who can control their hatred or at least channel it in a particular direction.

      • Colum Paget says

        You’re the guy who said the far right didn’t exist, and you’re now going full Sith with “Everyone has hatred inside them. If you don’t learn how to accept it and use it constructively…”

        Really?

        You need to be more subtle than this if you’re going to troll the thread.

        • Saturn Black says

          Colum Paget – And you need to learn how to quote people accurately before attacking them. “Barely even exists” is very different to “doesn’t exist.”

          Spouting all this conspiratorial nonsense involving trolls and multiple usernames just makes you sound like a fool. I’m quite open about my opinions and I don’t care in the slightest what you think about them (or me personally). If you can’t handle controversial and outspoken conservatives maybe you should go back to the lunatic lefties in your sci fi writers community.

          • @ Saturn Black

            ” If you can’t handle controversial and outspoken conservatives”

            No – you are a bigoted old racist. You are NOT a conservative. When your views are challenged then you start calling everyone else “lunatic lefties”. To people like you ONLY your personal views are “conservative” and everyone else is a “Leftie”.

            All you do is post the same “views” on every comment stream – irrespective of the article.

          • Saturn Black says

            Reading Nomad – Well it does seem typical of the lunatic left to think that personal attacks and ad hominems constitute a challenge to my views. If that’s the only level you people can engage me on it just proves that I’m right about you. You specifically haven’t presented a solid argument in 10+ comments over multiple articles directed at me personally. Your game is solely about character assassination because you have no ability to engage in reasoned debate.

            I’d be quite happy if you at least tried to develop the capacity to present a good argument because I’ve come here looking to have my views challenged and be forced to think about these things in a new way. This has happened in cases where people have presented good counters or thought provoking points that present an alternative opinion. But personal attacks are pretty easy to just laugh at and shrug off, especially when they’re completely inaccurate.

    • Elaine says

      And hatred is a common and normal part of the human emotional experience. The crusade against it will end as badly as the Victorian taboo against sex.

      • Peter from Oz says

        Elaine
        Good point. The silmilarity between the urtians of the 19th century and the modern SJWs is very striking

  8. derek says

    If there is a mistake in this article it is at the end when the author says “Drama in the sci-fi/fantasy fandom may not be of great consequence for larger society”.

    The response to this abuse, covered and excused by people and organisations that should have known better, is of consequence. There were lots of lessons learned in that saga that we are seeing applied to this day with much greater import.

    1. People will dive under the furniture if accused of the crime du jour. As we see outlined in this article, people who by any measure are fastidiously not racist were frozen into inactivity by these vile slurs. This stalinesque tactic, where your faithful supporters stand harmlessly while Beria loads his weapon, is used to move an organization or group towards the extreme by freezing the more moderate into inaction. Any question of the fundamentalist doctrine is akin to apostasy, the consequence being thrown out into the darkness outside. Very effective in the short run. The Democrats are in the throes of this phase of evil.

    Note that this isn’t used against your enemies, but your friends. A torrent of vile insults turned many who were tepid about Trump into rabid anti-Trumpers, removing formerly influential writers and policy advocates from the conversation. See National Review, Weekly Standard. At the root of the virulent opposition to Trump is these people being subjected to torrents of vile abuse, ostensibly coming from their side. The counter reaction has alienated them from much of their audience. Very effective again, in the short run.

    2. The lines drawn, the tactics honed, the battle scarred heroes rise in prominence. On both sides. What is happening at Google and other tech giants is the same that happened within Science Fiction, often advanced by the same people, using the same tactics. Creating fear, pushing a ridiculous standard of righteousness, using mob action to punish the offenders.

    But also on the other side. Trump took a page out of the opponents of the social justice warrior fight. Taking the fight personal and direct, no apologies. He sees the FBI and CIA holdovers from the Obama years the same as Vox Day sees the SJW’s in science fiction, and will steamroll the organisations he sees as corrupt. Bannon formulated much of the electoral message, with the skills learned in Gamergate.

    The media is doing exactly the same as it did in that situation. Jeong’s hiring is no accident; the NYT editorial board wants someone with experience in this fight. Anyone who challenges even obliquely the narrative is attacked mercilessly.

    Antifa is a natural outgrowth of the SJW ethic from that fight; the enemy is evil and must be destroyed at all costs.

    Academia and much of the West had real trouble with Communism because they liked the ideas and were able to convince themselves for almost 5 decades that the tactics and reality of communism in practice was an aberration, because the ideas were wonderful. Who can argue against diversity, tolerance, a more egalitarian society.

    But it wasn’t an aberration; what Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin did was Communism. What Jeong and Sriduangkaew writes is what diversity and tolerance look like. What Antifa does is what social justice enforcement looks like. The stultified atmosphere on campuses is what ‘better speech’ looks like.

    This isn’t going to end well.

    • derek says

      Note that Candace Owens, a black conservative woman attracting the ire of Antifa was radicalized by what she considered mistreatment by Sarkeesian, who was very prominent in the Gamer Gate controversy. Another spin off of this unimportant story.

    • Saturn Black says

      I don’t blame Trump for going after his own employees (the feds) for going after him. These people are so blinded by their personal feelings about him that they don’t even care about acting professionally any more. It’s a disgrace and it reflects terribly on their institution on a whole, aside from creating a huge national security risk.

      Show me one bad thing Trump did that isn’t sourced via fake news. Until then I’m quite happy watching Fox and laughing at all these lunatic leftists who wouldn’t know the truth if it belted them in the face. They’re completely deranged.

      In Australia most young people think George Bush was a bigger tyrant than Stalin. Most of them have never even heard of Lenin. The horrors of 20th century communism aren’t even being taught in school, meanwhile they really lay it on thick when it comes to Nazism. Young people these days are being brainwashed not educated, so it’s no surprise that they come out ready to fight political battles and blindly follow whatever the fake news tells them.

  9. THOMAS CARROLL says

    A good article with some interesting comments and, unfortunately, some unconstructive comments.

  10. Morti says

    This is a great example why in many cases the worst thing you can do is to waste time trying to figure out who started it. It doesn’t matter.

    “You don’t know it yet, but you’re a victim and others owe you X,Y,Z. I am here to help you, represent you and get for you what you deserve.” – this is the most effective way of doing politics in democracy. It’s brutally efficient especially if you have a “vibrant and diverse” society. Of course in the end people will be at each others’ throats, but who cares about long term?

    • Saturn Black says

      Nope. You’re not a victim of anything, and nobody owes you anything. Victims are weak and pathetic and I refuse to pander to a regressive ideology and encourage people to stop growing as human beings. If you’ve genuinely been raped or whatever, nothing good will come of sitting around in your room and crying about it and trying to get everyone to feel sorry for you. Take some responsibility for your actions and start making steps towards your recovery.

  11. Sian says

    I really believe that ‘punching up’ is an unnecessary thing – we should be attacking ideologies, not individuals, surely? It also seems dangerous to legitimise such aggression, as surely the ultimate goal is to create a world free of aggression, injustice and prejudice, not to implicitly acknowledge that we find a value in such things by using them freely. I know this is a complicated issue and I would never deny a person’s right to feel anger but I feel like such extremely divisive behaviour will not, in the end, do much good.

    I don’t know, I don’t like to get cynical but this just reminds me again how many important discussions, inside and outside of sff, devolve into shouting matches… Does anyone else know what I mean?

    • I really believe that ‘punching up’ is an unnecessary thing – we should be attacking ideologies, not individuals, surely?

      Precisely.

      We are constantly told that racism is ‘structural’ or ‘systematic’ but the hostility is directed at individuals as exemplars of their class, not at the ‘structures’ or ‘systems’ in which racism is supposedly embedded.

    • Legitimizing ‘punching up’ is mindless folly. Most people feel marginalized or oppressed in some way. Giving them social sanction to hate and attack those who they feel are responsible for their unhappy status is a recipe for senseless strife.

  12. codadmin says

    The white working class can’t punch down as they are on the bottom rung of the ladder. No group in America is hated and oppressed more than this group.

    Any attempt to humanise this group is met with spittle flecked hatred by the leftist power structure.

  13. Peter Peperoni Picker says

    re: destruction of SFF communities/writers, I have no sympathy for people who buy into 90% of progressive ideology and then whine when the gun gets turned on them. They are the leninist-trotskyists who ended up in stalinist gulags.

    • Saturn Black says

      Hahaha, this is the best comment here 😀

      Off to the gulags!

  14. O.R. Ange says

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but this stuff isn’t just a Sci-Fi community problem in the writing world. Though science fiction has been a great avenue to imagine the future, and at that utopia and dystopia both, the idea of not being able to write certain characters is in almost every genre. But in a lot of ways, it’s more disheartening to know that people are just writing what the market tells them to write and are descending into hack-dom.

    I don’t know many of the authors listed and the main antagonist I’ve also never heard of. However, I am very curious to see where fantasy, more than sci-fi, goes in the next few years. Because people often deal with their local folklore traditions and I would love to see a resurgence of folktale interest from around the world.

  15. Doug Deeper says

    The left has now rationalized that whites, and every other person they disagree with, should be bullied for anything the leftist mobs disagree with on any particular day. They do their best to dehumanize those of us who disagree with them in classic fascist fashion. Their brownshirts, antifa, BLM, etc. are increasing their violence on us by the day. They have cleansed the universities, the media, Hollywood, and almost the entire Democrat party of opposing opinions thru violent intimidation.
    But we still resist, so they step up the violent rhetoric and action.
    They must assume we are infinitely tolerant of them. Certainly many feckless, pacifist liberals are infinitely tolerant. But this stance has a very limited shelf life.

    But do they assume the rest of us classical liberals and conservatives will roll over so they can have their way with us?
    We recognize genuine fascism when we see it regardless of the doublespeak they use.
    And we are aware of what must be done to protect ourselves and our loved ones from fascists.

    • “Racist” didn’t work, and “Nazi” didn’t work. By 2020, they’ll be calling us “gay communists” to try to get a reaction.

    • Bubblecar says

      “We recognize genuine fascism when we see it regardless of the doublespeak they use.”

      Except it’s not actually fascism, which is a sloppy misuse of historical terminology.

      What we’re really seeing in these extreme examples are increasingly authoritarian (and institutionalised) “equalitarian” codes that are more akin to “compulsory social mannerisms” than rational policies embodying defensible principles of social behaviour.

      It’s very conformist, increasingly contradictory and increasingly intrusive, but hardly “fascist”. Fascism was/is a far-right movement centred on ultra-nationalism and militarism, typified by a central dictatorship and a regimented society organised along radically “traditionalist” lines (“nation, blood, soil, family, führer, God” etc).

      • Classic Liberal says

        So refreshing to see the real definition along with historical context for a word that has been rhetorically hurled by ideologues for improper uses so much as to become nearly meaningless, except as a virtue signal that “I am righteous, and you are irredeemably email.”

        • Doug Deeper says

          Bubblecar & Classic Liberal,
          It seems to me that using fascism to describe the left that controls our campus, media, Hollywood, Democrat party and deep state is perfectly accurate for definition #2 below.
          It is also accurate for #1 if one substitutes the word “leftism” for the word “nation.”

          Merriam-Webster: Definition of fascism
          “1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
          2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control”

          Bubblecar writes this referring to today’s huge and growing radical left:
          “It’s very conformist, increasingly contradictory and increasingly intrusive, but hardly “fascist”.
          Really? That’s it?… no violent intimidation, ostracism, exclusion from positions of power, or lives ruined by internet leftist mobs? Just “conformist” and “intrusive?”

          Live in the shoes of a classical liberal or conservative on any campus, in any newsroom, in Hollywood or Democrat party gathering and try to voice a strong opinion on free speech, Christianity, zionism, capitalism or illegal immigrants. And you think “intrusion” is the worst you will suffer?

      • Peter from Oz says

        Your description od fascism was quite good, except that it is not really a far right creed, but just another far left creed.

  16. If they claim they are “punching up,” it means they believe they’re inferior to other people.

    And they are.

    Not due to demographics, but on an individual basis.

  17. Daniel says

    A serious question: what should be done if free speech is being misused to stop another’s free speech?
    What should be done if free speech is being misused to promote or normalize something objectively morally wrong (like human trafficking, or child porn, assuming we can agree on that?)

    • Elaine says

      This isn’t some kind of new problem that we need to reinvent the wheel for. The proper limit to free speech is and always has been incitement to crime. End of. Inciting, not the vague and useless terms ‘normalising’ or ‘promoting’.

  18. Pingback: How Ideological Divides Threaten Storytelling - TaleBlend

  19. B A Price says

    re: Many of the above comments

    I am reminded of Turks and Serbs arguing who was morally right to condemn the other because of the historical injustices. And watch how each could bring up some hundreds or multiple decades old atrocity committed by the other side. And blamed each other for actions none of the individuals were party to, yet were blamed and would blame others for actions that happened before their births.

    I am not responsible for the crimes of my ancestors, You are not responsible for the crimes of your ancestors. I can not claim credit for the achievements of my ancestors. You can not claim credit for the achievements of your ancestors. Guilt by association is one of the worse abuses that can be inflicted on individuals because it says the mere proximity of someone makes you guilty.

    I am only responsible for my own actions, be they crimes or achievements. For I am but a lone individual trying to make my way through life. It takes precious few degrees of separation before we are all tied to the guilty through proximity. Why do we attack people for the actions of others? We do it because it is easier to be tribal than cosmopolitan. To judge people by a group than to take the time to evaluate the individual, because that takes time and effort.

    I refuse to blame the left or the right or the media or [insert group here] for the actions of individuals. Judge me by my own merits and I will judge you by yours.

    • Rick Phillips says

      @ Price
      I very much like the sentiment and thrust of your argument.

      During the crisis post-Yugoslavia I observed that what had seemed to be a secular society disintegrated into tribalism when people started shooting others based on perceived religious status. In such situations retreating into a tribe seemed (and probably was) necessary for survival.

      The challenge is how to remain an individual when others are playing out tribal scenarios and attacking you on the basis of a projected tribal identity. All would be well if such attacks could be ignored but it is apparent that these attacks have real world consequences (at both the individual and societal level). I don’t see any obvious answer. I suspect unfortunately that individualists are in for a rough ride going forward.

      • Saturn Black says

        Rick Philips – I’ll lay it out for you.

        They are trying to spread “victimhood culture” (a convenient way to summarise their ideology). Anyone in their “oppressor” category such as whites, males, conservatives, etc is attacked without mercy. The goal of these attacks is to make these “oppressors” see themselves as the victim, or on the extreme end of the scale, to actually victimise them through harassment or some other criminal activity. The end goal of all of this is to make everyone a victim, because that is how you gain status under their ideology, and if you see victimhood as the weak and pathetic state it really is, their whole system falls apart.

        The solution? Don’t see yourself as a victim of anything, ever. And when they attack you, stand up for yourself and attack them back. Do not just sit there and take it or remain silent – that counts as a win for them. Make sure you can always walk away from the situation feeling that you defended yourself and did not allow them to victimise you or infect you with this ideology of weakness.

        It’s pretty simple really. Look at Trump – his personal behaviour is the embodiment of the solution, and that’s why they all hate him so much. They have no power over him.

        If you’re afraid of them and afraid of losing your career when they bring some false allegations against you in an attempt to destroy you, you don’t stand a chance. I think careers are a throwaway thing these days anyway so it’s not that big of a loss, but if you’re emotionally attached to your career you’ve kinda already capitulated.

        These people are the worst dregs of our society – mooching off their parents and so on – so if you fear them you kinda don’t deserve to have all the comfort and security of whatever you spent your whole life working towards. The west has been so prosperous for so long that most people don’t know how to deal with the prospect of losing even their mere financial security. People have gone soft and if they don’t learn how to harden up they’re going to get ripped apart.

        • Rick Phillips says

          @Saturn Black

          You correctly describe in part what I see as the “rough ride going forward”. I see President Trump, and others, as part of a process. Unfortunately, there currently seems to be significant pathology on both sides. I hope that this is a dialectic process and that we get to a reasonable (and reason based) synthesis sooner rather than later and with little pain. At this point, while I hope I am not hopeful.

    • The instinct to blame, to blame entire groups for your own unhappiness, seems to be deeply ingrained in the human psyche. People are predisposed to internalize everything that’s good in their life, and externalize everything that’s bad. It’s disheartening how difficult it seems to be to rise above our most primitive instincts.

  20. Nobody of Import says

    If you’re holding onto “Social Justice”, you are literally holding on to a, “rock to use to hit someone harder with”.

    That’s the very definition of the term.

    It was invented as a concept by Neo-Marxists of the Frankfurt School of Thought to break down communication and the like. If you hold on to it and claim you want fairness, etc. you’re either lying or an idiot.

    Time to choose.

  21. Just Me says

    Oh boy, for a while Quillette was a welcome haven from the trolling and insult-slinging of other sites, and it had the most intelligent, thoughtful commenters, but that didn’t last long, did it?

    Time to move on…

    • Yeah, it’s sad. I disagree with active forum moderation, but it does seem that once a site reaches a certain size, it’s going to attract a number of extremely hateful and prolific commentators. These people are deeply unhappy – I’d guess some are genuinely mentally ill – and they’re usually mirror images of the people they ate. But they can render a forum toxic in no time.

      How do you maintain some semblance of reason and civility in an online forum without moderation?

      • Saturn Black says

        I actually think it’s great not to have some corrupt / biased moderator standing over me and censoring every controversial thing I say whenever some sheltered little snowflake like you complains about it being too offensive.

        Free speech is alive and well on Quillette and this is exactly what it looks like. You should be grateful there are still places where we can engage in open discussions on controversial topics without the pc police throwing everyone in a virtual jail cell.

        Having an argument doesn’t make people unhappy or mentally ill. In fact I’d argue that remaining silent and never telling anyone how you really feel is much more likely to result in unhappiness and mental health issues. Go watch some Jordan Peterson and see what he says is the number one reason people end up in therapy.

        Kids these days aren’t being taught how to debate someone they disagree with and social media is training them to simply bully the other into silence. Hence the majority of personal attacks that sidestep the underlying issue. More moderation is only going to make this worse as they will never be forced to confront ideas they don’t like.

        Stop trying to create a utopia and learn to recognise the value in things that challenge you.

      • Walter says

        Agree with you two; I was thinking the same thing. Maybe allow only one comment per day, two, perhaps, if on two different articles. That would take away the immediacy trolls seem to require.

        It’s a shame, though. Quillette articles are still fantastic, but the comments have, until now, always been an added bonus.

        Still, I can always ignore the comments if I have to. The articles remain stellar.

  22. John says

    Interesting. I’m one of those bottom of the ladder white workers so to say. Sounds like I can’t “punch up” lol. Punching up to me sounds like choosing to put yourself in the victim box then taking a cheap shot. Reminds me of when Tommy Robinson drives through cities in England and Muslims aggressively approach him call him a racist hit him out of nowhere then walk away no big deal. In my judgement punching up is extremely weak. No respect for that.

    Yesterday I drove to Seattle to take a peak at what the Patriot Prayer rally in front of the city hall looked like. When I drove by the Right was on the right and Left on the left. Interesting takeaways, on the left young people were wearing shirts that said “I AM AN ANTI RACIST”, cult like feel that I think the media created. Their faces covered. Y’all know these days how people talk about good vibes and all that? You could feel their hate. It was like it was bleeding from their eyes. I didn’t get a good look at the Patriot Prayer side I was paying attention to the Left out my window chanting about shutting down the alt right.

    Other than that there were “bums” laying around all over the place around city hall, some on the sidewalks some in the nice patches of grass in little parks… In my judgement Left policies, tactics and created narratives, are extremely weak, spiteful, resentful, hateful, racist, sexist, hypocritical… Everything they blame the Right is doing, and I guy like me, white construction worker since the day I graduated high school, am observing how brainwashed and bazaar the Left looks. No respect for them with their blazenly obvious double standard that they’re hiding behind and congruently working in an anti-American fashion. Leftists should feel insulted their leaders are pulling that, but it’s just like how nobody stepped up to stop Winterfox’s bullying, ie. being weak.

    The guys like me keep going to work day in day out, support ourselves and and family’s, create abundance that the Left uses as bribes to get votes pretending they’re such great benevolent people. I think they’re sickos that use people, are generally beta’s that aren’t used to power but want it, and are very sneaky snakes.

    • Thank you John for a common sense reply. The author in question sicken me and most of the comments were even worst. I was unable to finish either. I’m thankful yours was the last words I read.

  23. I found this article interesting enough to start reading Mixon’s original article. Although there’s no doubt that Requires Hate is a mouthy wench, I get the impression that it’s another case of the left eating their own, which is always a pleasure. Here’s an excerpt:

    “By hiding behind the language of progressive causes, she taints—she cheapens—one of the primary means at social-equality activists’ disposal to help the community-at-large understand a very important series of systemic biases that is harming people every day.”

    Hilarious.

  24. The radical left created the Trump Voter. They are bashing open a door to an even harder and more unforgiving and intolerant right for the next election. The strident insanity , and impotent rage they vomit up at every turn is making Chuck and Nancy white bread stop caring what any one on the left says about anything, while they run to wal-mart to stock up on freeze dried food, and AR-15 ammo. Remember that the armed right in America outnumbers every military and police force on earth COMBINED. They have a long history of smiling and waving, and making every attempt to avoid conflict–right up to the point where they become filled with fear and hate, and begin continent wide genocide’s. Right now Chuck and Nancy Whitebread BELIVES , that ALL of you are, one day very soon, coming down the street to murder them or force them onto a train to the communist death camps. This belief grows with every protest march, every self identified communist candidate, and they all of them, have guns, and military training and a growing terror of you. The radicals love this–now. I wonder how much they will like it when they and there “comrades” are the ones who start filling the mass graves. You are doing everything you can to start a civil war. One that will last for years or decades and take the lives of tens of millions. Look at the history of every communist “revolution” It is written in blood and dead children. Wanna know the difference between a communist and a Nazi? A Nazi is a National Socialist . A Communist is an INTER-national Socialist. That’s it. They are both fruit of the same tree. And out here in “Flyover USA” none of us want ether , and are quite willing to kill both to keep it that way.

    • It’s getting crazier.

      The whole trans cult thing is under the radar right now, but in leftist circles, saying some women have male genitalia is a real thing.

      “Some women have dicks, deal with it.”

      Trans women are women is repeated like a spell.

      I’m center left, and the whole thing disgusts me.

      That and the defense of Islam

    • Saturn Black says

      I am truly heartened by your insight and vision into the future and feel a renewed sense of confidence in the right.

      We know our 20th century history, and we know that communism under Stalin and Mao killed a lot more people than Nazism. The left never learnt their history properly so they are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the red-coat revolutions.

      This latest manifestation of the international communist conspiracy will never prevail.

  25. jdgalt says

    The first person to start an SF/F magazine with a policy of shunning the Social Justice viewpoint and its partisans will make a mint. Most real fans are repelled by that biased nonsense.

    • I have thought this many times, though more in terms of an anthology. think a modern version of Harlan Ellison’s DANGEROUS VISIONS.

      stumbling blocks:

      * few writers would submit their stories to such a publication.
      * few fans would admit to reading such a publication.

  26. Northern Observer says

    Maxist ethics, which consist of an oppressor oppressed worldview and lower moral standars in the treatment of identified “oppressors”, is a magnet for the dregs of humanity, the sociopaths and psychopaths who love morally permissive environments to satiate their ego needs.
    I should reserve the same social treatment as its ideologocal and social offspring, Nazism, polite society should condemn, confront and shame its spokespeople in academia, the arts, politics and polite society. Instead we have apologetics and institutionalisation of this totalitarian mentality. It is my contention that we are in the last phase of the death of communism, which was born in western intellectual circles manifested and failed on the perifery – China, Russia, Africa – and has come back to the Western mind to die. But the death thows will not be calm or peaceful, they are absurd, violent and thankfully final. By the time we have live through the last leftist spasim say 80 years from now we will truly be able to laugh that people ever held themselves back in such a manner and get on with discussing ideas that have better outcomes.

  27. Kevin Herman says

    Almost none of these people are what I would consider successful authors.

    • a minority of writers of fiction “succeed” in the sense of making enough from their fiction to support themselves doing that. you described the state of fiction writers generally.

  28. Interesting article. I had not heard of this “Requires Hate” incident before but it’s not surprising to me. Academia is rife with the “punching up” mentality, to the point that one of my professors can openly call my language a “language of genocide” and no one bats an eye. I have heard of the “sad puppies” group which authors are pressured to distance themselves from. It is extremely disconcerting to see ideological purity become more important than telling a quality story in one of my favorite genres.

  29. Interestingly, Mixon also pointed to evidence that Sriduangkaew’s abusive online behavior had begun with nasty but nonpolitical forum trolling—until “at some point she discovered social-justice-driven rage-speak and found it to be a particularly effective weapon.”

    ============================================

    This is the key. Some people – men, women, white, black, gay, straight – are miserable. They have a lot of hate inside, and are looking for a way to express it. If you give those people a socially-sanctioned way to hate, then don’t be surprised when they take advantage of it. When you set up a social model where it’s not only tolerable to hate others, but it’s just and righteous, then don’t be surprised when lots of unhappy and hateful people flock to your banner.

    Which is what we’ve seen in recent years with the identarian movement. They’ve established a social climate where people can attack and hate and condemn others and earn fulsome praise for it. No wonder politics and social debate have become toxic.

    • Saturn Black says

      That doesn’t mean that every forum troll is a sociopath in disguise. Maybe the problem is that just about every social environment is clamping down on free speech and so the people with genuine grievances aren’t able to have them aired. Thus a group that supports their position is required for them to be able to say anything at all.

      Of course this is going to go too far because when you haven’t been able to say anything for say, your whole life, and then suddenly you have people who really want to hear what you have to say, it’s going to feel overwhelming and intoxicating and you’re going to run wild with it and end up attacking people who don’t deserve it.

      This will balance itself out over time so long as the rule of law still applies. If these people need riot squads to teach them a life lesson then so be it.

  30. peanut gallery says

    Wow, the comments of this article really delivers… the cancer. I think I have now, thanks. I hope you’re willing to help out my son, now that he’s going to lose his father so soon. He’s only half white, so please don’t hold that against him.

  31. Anon Analytic says

    Step 1: Majority of people come to realize that virulent, irrational hatred of others based upon superficial things like skin color is morally repugnant.

    Step 2: Sophists (postmordernists, post-structuralists, literary “Theorists”, continental “philosophers”, etc.) proclaim that racism has nothing to do with hatred or any other mental attitudes and instead has to be understood in terms of deliberately vague notions of power and neologisms such as “intersectionality”.

    Step 3: Majority of people ignore the sophists or laugh at them for their obsequious nonsense.

    Step 4: Sophists shriek from within their echo-chambers.

  32. How absurd that journalists give any credence to the communist attack on whites, white hate, badgering whites, etc.-this is beyond absurd-racism is racism, and the idea of the Left using this hypocritical and obviously depraved tactic to further their cause should only red-pill citizens to various socialists/communist groups that are launching an attack on our society for the purpose of destroying it-make no mistake-the US is under attack-not from armies abroad but by armies that are destroying us from within

  33. Kevin says

    Wellington NZ is hosting the World Sci Fi Convention in 2020. Nice place, a little anodyne though: biggest weirdness is every third woman has blue hair.
    Somehow South side Chicago seems a more appropriate venue, for those brave enough to back their blistering opinions with their own flesh.
    That would be unusual, wouldn’t it.

    Somalia is too far to go, however interesting it might be.

  34. Jim Kennedy says

    Geeze, The intersectional identity score card makes my head hurt. As Dr. King pointed out can’t we judge by the content of one’s character and not by the color of their skin (or sexual preference, gender role, ethnic background etc.) I read Sci Fi for the story. I don’t pick it up because the writer is a white male or a bisexual transgendered black female. I first read the story and judge the writing by the writing. You could cover up the author’s name as far as I am concerned. Once I have read an author and liked their work I am inclined to buy it again because I liked the writing! I don’t search out details to see how what their intersectional score is.

    Is the story good? Did I find it fascinating? Does it hold together?

  35. I maintain that Sriduangkaew only got in trouble (to the extent that she even did) because she did not restrict her attacks to “acceptable” targets.

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  38. Zelda Sudden says

    Do you remember seeing a homeless guy as a kid and wondering why people didn’t just give the poor man money? Probably, because most people mean the best for others and want well for them. It is only time and experience and yes, a certain jaded cynicism that teaches you to give that guy money is often destructive to him and to others– you fund an addiction, you are already giving him money in more useful ways through taxes or charity that he may not be using, he may not even need the money and may have a nicer car than you anyway.

    However much money you give – most importantly – it is never enough because he will simply ask for more, and especially target you because you gave to him once before.

    That is also the fate of my white guilt.

    Yes, I once was susceptible to the sjw types because I mean well for others. I genuinely do. But like the same guy who can never be given enough money and won’t use it well if I do give it, my compassion and good intentions were abused and weaponized against me

    You’ll never hear me say this publicly. I am not wearing a red hat or going to loud protests. To meet me you’d assume I am still obedient to your agenda.

    Benjamin, Sarah Jeong, and many commentators here etc are worthless human beings miserable with themselves so they inflict their misery on others. There is no empathy they can be given that will fill the void in their souls, so DO NOT BOTHER. GIVE THEM NOTHING.

    DO NOT FEEL GUILTY about anything you personally did not do. It is NOT YOUR FAULT that some people are pathetic and blame others of your skin tone for it. There are many people who look just like them who thrive and do excellently. There is no amount of victory that will satisfy or appear the Benjanuns of the world: they are human black holes who can never have enough so STOP FEEDING THEM. Let them fade away or figure out how to exist in a non parasitic manner.

  39. Matthew Lawliss says

    she drove someone to suicide… and yet she is reduced to tears by “mombot” and ‘gamergate’… the very people that called her out.

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